Loop: Eliminating Single-Use Plastic through Reusable Packaging and the Circular Economy

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: April 7, 2022
Length: 18 pages
Product ID#: 2-601-145

Core Disciplines: Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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This case describes TerraCycle’s history as an innovative recycling platform and focuses on the business model of its newest endeavor, Loop. After significant growth of TerraCycle and successfully orchestrating recycling solutions for hard-to-recycle materials through relationships with sponsor brands, logistics companies, and recycling processors, Loop was launched to address the global waste crisis at the root level. The key insight upon which Loop’s value proposition was built is the notion that no one needs or wants to own the containers their goods were packaged in after the product has been used. With inspiration from the traditional milkman concept, Loop set out to leverage its extensive brand network and logistics relationships to orchestrate a reuse model.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Analyze the value proposition of a circular economy.
  • Describe and analyze the business models and histories of both TerraCycle and Loop.
  • Consider strategic options for Loop moving forward.